SUBANG, 13 Nov: Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Bukhari is expected to earn an income of RM3.5 billion from the proceeds of his investment in Padiberas Nasional Berhad (BERNAS) in the next three years.
The projected income is derived from the ever-growing BERNAS profit from the rice commodity which is also the staple food of Malaysians.
The General Chief of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, said that this proves that the Barisan Nasional (BN) government prioritises their cronies compared to the life of paddy farmers who are continuously plagued by poverty.
“What is more puzzling is how a Malay can buy a company or to privatise one and record a revenue wealth projection of RM3.5 billion in the next three years from BERNAS while the income of the poor people are is not sufficient,” he said at the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) Dinner here at the Empire Hotel last night.
Anwar said that when he was the Finance Minister, the privatisation of BERNAS could only happen provided that 10 percent of the company’s shares were distributed to the National Farmers Organisation (NAFAS) and the National Fishermen’s Association (NEKMAT), while five percent would go to the Agricultural Development Authority of Kemubu, Kelantan (KADA), the Youth Agricultural Development Authority of Kedah (MADA) and the staff of BERNAS.
Prior to this, Anwar stressed that Syed Mokhtar managed to own 53.7 percent of BERNAS shares through two of his companies until the end of 2009, and the share purchase offer, said to be worth RM477 million, was extended until the end of February through several other companies.
Anwar said that the consistent annual net profit of BERNAS has been RM135 million since 2006 and continued to increase from RM2.1 billion to RM3.6 billion in 2012.
The PR Dinner was attended by about 100 key leaders of PR, including the President of PKR, Datuk Seri Wan Azizah, the DAP Advisor, Lim Kit Siang, and the PAS Deputy President, Mohamad Sabu.